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Chapter Seventeen: The Return to a Family
The rain blocked out the sun as the clouds lightly rumbled with thunder. It seemed like the sky itself was grieving for the life lost in the battle against Orochimaru. His body lay in a casket on a building below the four faces of the Hokage of Konoha, and every villager stood in front of it to mourn. Sasuke and Sakura stood solemnly, next to Kakashi and Sora, Donald and Goofy. Naruto looked on silently, when he noticed Konohamaru in the front.
Konohamaru was sobbing heavily, and he fell to his knees as he rubbed his eyes. Naruto walked over and put his hand on Konohamaru’s shaking back. He turned around and hugged Naruto as tight as he could, his voice still wracked with tears. “N-n-naruto...th-thank you...m-m-my g-grandpa d-d-d-died bec-c-cause of that nasty Orochim-maru…and n-now he w-w-won’t hurt anybody else ever ag-g-g-g-ain!” He broke off into tears.
Naruto held him tight and glanced over at the picture of the Third Hokage on top of his coffin. It smiled back, and Naruto knew he didn’t die with regret. He remembered what the Third Hokage once told him. “To be Hokage means to recognize that this whole village is you family, and must be protected at all costs.” He looked into the sky and knew that for the rest of eternity, Hokage would always be there to protect the Village Hidden in the Leaves forever.
The sun broke over the trees as Sora and the others stood in front of the ninja academy for their last goodbyes. Sora walked over to Kakashi, and noticed the bandage applied to the large bump on the back of his head. “Eh heh, sorry about Goofy’s whole shield-slamming thing. We just needed to-.”
Kakashi smiled. “It’s all right. I was being a stubborn fool, and letting my fear cloud my judgment. It was right of you to stay behind, or else Orochimaru would have destroyed this village for good. Sora, thank you. For all that you’ve done here. Konoha owes you its life, and we will forever be in your debt.”
“Gee, thanks.” He grinned and walked over to Sakura and Sasuke, who now seemed very much in love. Sakura held Sasuke’s hand without question, and she smiled at Sora, which seemed to mirror on Sasuke’s face as well.
“Sora, thank you so much for everything. I appreciate what you did for Naruto and Sasuke. We couldn’t have survived without you and your friends.” Goofy and Donald chuckled, and Sasuke nodded approval.
Sora walked over to Naruto, who was busy talking to Hinata. She shyly waved hi, and Naruto jumped as he turned around, obviously embarrassed that Sora saw him talking to her. He and Sora clasped hands as he smiled.
“Thanks a lot, Sora. You have the makings of a true ninja in you! I hope you come back someday, and when you do, I’ll be Hokage for sure! Believe it!” Sora, Donald and Goofy laughed.
Hinata walked over to Sora, and Sakura did too. Neither said anything, but instead both kissed Sora on the cheek, causing him to blush fiercely. Sakura giggled as she went back to Sasuke, and Hinata whispered, “Thank you.”
Sora stumbled back over to Donald and Goofy, who were still laughing at Sora’s blush from the kiss. They turned around and waved goodbye one last time as they headed for the Gummi Ship. As they got into the cockpit and began to lift off low to the ground, they noticed Naruto running through the trees next to them. He waved goodbye one final time as they blasted off into the sky.
Naruto turned around and looked back at the people waiting for him. They called to him as he ran back, and he knew that at last he had found acceptance in his true family of Konoha.
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